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tv   Asia Insight  PBS  December 14, 2016 6:30pm-7:01pm PST

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♪ as china experiences on going economic decline. housing costs in beijing now surpass those through new york. according to an april 2016 announcement, from the uk's business alliance, they have become the most expensive in the world. investors who have given up on
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stocks have returned to real estate investment. prices of newly built homes in 70 major chinese cities, have surged up to 60% in the last 12 months. somehow beijing is so costly, buyers cannot be found. property prices have gone up by more than 500 u.s. dollars per square meter in just over one year. the closer you get to central beijing, the higher the prices. the pricing units are almost $15,000 per square meter. the surge in crisis has made it challenging for people to buy their dream home. many are moving to the suburbs, in search of afford abable rent. the city's commute time is the second longest in the world.
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>> people from all corners of the country come to the capital in search of business opportunities. unless they are very successful, it is difficult to live here. the sudden rise of property prices in beijing has created a serious value cost imbalance. we follow the lives of those in pursuit of the second coming of
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the chinese dream. and the hopes of those who are dashed. tiananmen square is where mao zedong declared china in 1949. in the 17th century, during the cheng dynasty, beijing was built around the forbidden city. five ring roads surround the castle. whether you live within or without these ring roads determines your financial status. a home within the second ring road is said to cost at least 1
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milli million. the average annual salary in beijing is $7,800 only the very fortunate can buy a home.
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of bay jirng's residents, 38% are from rural areas. the bay jings cbd located between the third and fourth ring roads is where 70% of foreign companies hold offices. many media outlets are also located here.
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one man bought a studio apartment for 500,000 u.s. dollars in this district a year ago. >> this man works for a real estate agency. this studio apartment is about 66 square meters in size. he lives here with his wife he purchased this apartment because it was close to his office. but if he puts it on the market now, he could sell it for more than 600,000 u.s. dollars.
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>> he owns two other apartment units. if he sells them, they would both sell for $700,000 each. >> being born in beijing enabled him to do this a ten minute drive from the direction of
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tiananmen square, is a 23-year-old apartment building between the second and third ring roads. this is where other properties are located. his parents live in one apartment while he rents out the other to a relative >> these apartments were offered to his parents by the government when they were forced to relocate due to urban development. his parents old home was a stand alone house within the second ring road. in socialist china, all housing was originally controlled by the state. and as it still owns the land. real estate transactions become time limited leases rather than permanent ownership.
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his properties are both 80 square meters in size. even though they're old, their central location will push their prices up. . he obtained rights to use these apartments in 2003. as the market economy developed, such rights were sold to tenants at affordable rates. they used their savings to perfect these two apartment units under ho's name.
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his properties add up to about a million dollars, he won't sell while his parents are alive.
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to avoid over concentration, the chinese government is planning to move some of beijing's functions to the outskirts of the city. resulting in spiraling property prices in those areas as well. >> small to medium sized homes are in short supply with nowhere for young people and singles to live. new constructions are almost always luxury properties. >> one company has enjoyed rapid growth by connecting young people with expensive real estate. he handles homes in about 1,000 cities and towns.
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on their books are older high end homes and investment properties waiting to rise. they're rented out as share houses. in five years since it's founding, the company has rented out 190,000 rooms in beijing. there's much potential in becoming a pioneer in the used property business.
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lian ja offers high end apartments, apartment sharing is becoming more popular among young people. >> many will leave the property idle without an attempt to rent
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it out. >> they don't believe it's worth the time and money to renovate, find tenants and deal with ensuing problems. that's why lian ja's service offers to renovate and conduct customer relations on behalf of the owners. and guarantees income for the duration of the contract. once investors caught on to this, they wanted to put their assets to work. this property has five rooms on two floors. and is ideal for use as a
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hou house. >> this young woman graduated from college last year. she's found employment and is looking for a room close to her compa company.
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this district is located south of beijing. the city's second airport is expected to open here in 2019, prompting expectations of more development. housing prices have risen by 30% in one year. in the last 10 years, the population has exploded from 560,000 to 1.56 million. >> we're flooded with people who want to move here, invest before housing costs increase even more.
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here with his family, this man wants to view a property right away, if it fits his criteria. he and his wife work as elementary schoolteachers in a small village on the outskirts of the dongjie district. he will use his hard earned savings for a downpayment.
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in china, home buyers cannot take out loans if they don't have the designated down payment. mao is prepared to put down $150,000. he can only buy a property that
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costs under $330,000. he doesn't have enough money to buy a home in the region of his choi choice. mao finds a home he can afford, so he decides to see it in person with his family the house is located about 10 minutes away by car from the real estate agency. it's a little far from the station and the shop iping mall. the building has six stories and was built 20 years ago.
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it costs $330,000. it's a bargain for this area. the building looks a little rundo rundown. there are five flights of stairs in the dark at the back of the entrance. there are no elevators. >> the real estate agent says this popular apartment was viewed by 12 clients the day before. the rooms have been renovated
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and are ready for occupation. the 63 square meter home has a living room, a bedroom and a children's room . >> the children's room faces nor north. >> he and his wife earn a
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combined annual income of 20,000 u.s. dollars. it would take almost 30 years to pay back the mortgage, even with a payment that is one third their combine d income. the price of this property rose by more than $30,000 in one month.
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>> the abnormal surge in real estate prices can be a once in a lifetime opportunity for people with money. but for people who have little, it only makes life harder. this is true especially for young people hoping to get married. buying a first home is a serious m matter. in china, owning a home and a car is a status symbol for men. without such assets, future in-laws would not be happy. this man moved here two years ago in search of work. he has a girlfriend he wants to marry in the near future. at the moment, he lives in a share house with friends save
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money. his monthly income from an it firm is $2,600. about five times higher than when he lived in the countryside. he's saving half of that income for his future marriage. he cuts costs as much as possible. including food expenses. but it will still take 10 years for him to save enough money for a down payment on a home. he and his girlfriend are now thinking of renting a new apartment with the money they've saved so far. although he dreams of purchasing a home before he marries, the reality is bleak.
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>> she now works as an interior designer and met lee through a frie friend.
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>> lee came to beijing in search of a wealthy life. but his hopes for marrying, buying a home and rearing children here have been dashed.
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according to recent figures, there are more billionaires in china than anywhere else in the wor world. owning a home in beijing is a major status symbol. and the dream of many chinese people. but it's a dream that only few can attain.
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hello there. welcome to nhk "newsline," it is thursday december 125th, 10:00 a.m. i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. japanese prime minister shinzo abe and russia's president are about to start a two-day leader summit in japan. abe wants to push forward with discussions on a longstanding territorial dispute over four russian-controlled islands but vladimir putin is expected to prioritize cooperation in areas like the economy to build up mutual trust. japan maintains the islands are an inherent part of its territory and were illegally occupied after world war ii. the dispute is the main reason why the two countries haven't signed a peace treaty. abe

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